How to Become a Police Officer in Kansas

Becoming a Police Officer in Kansas City, Kansas

Kansas City police officers have been trend setters since the early days of the department’s founding in 1898. This police department was one of the first in the nation to have a motorcycle unit, to photograph and fingerprint its jail inmates, and to install a two-way radio network for its officers back in 1934.

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If you are interested in Kansas City police jobs then you should first check to make sure you meet the minimum qualifications and then continue with the rest of the steps in the application process. The path to become a cop in Kansas City follows these eight steps:

  1. Minimum qualifications and Application
  2. Testing
  3. Background investigation
  4. Polygraph examination
  5. Medical and psychological evaluations
  6. Departmental review
  7. Training academy

Step 1. Meeting Police Officer Requirements in Kansas City and Submitting an Application

The minimum qualifications for becoming a police officer in Kansas City are:

  • Vision of at least 20/100 correctable to 20/30
  • Driver’s license
  • High school graduate or GED
  • At least 21 years old
  • U.S. citizen
  • No previous domestic violence or felony convictions

Kansas City only accepts applications when recruiting is open. Check with the KCPD’s website to see when they will be recruiting, or fill out a pre-application contact form to receive notification when there is a job opening. You can obtain an application from the Kansas City human resources department and this will include a pre-employment questionnaire about your background history. When you turn in your application your criminal background check will begin with you being fingerprinted.

Step 2. Testing

When the KCPD is hiring and you have turned in a complete application with all required materials everything will be reviewed and if you are selected to continue with the application process you will be scheduled for two tests:

  • A written test that will check your basic abilities in reading comprehension, writing, and problem solving.
  • A timed physical agility obstacle course test meant to simulate a suspect pursuit.

Step 3. Background Investigation

If you successfully rank towards the top of your testing group you will begin the process of your background investigation that may take several weeks. A detective will review your pre-employment questionnaire and ask you additional questions about your employment history, financial history, education experience, and any past criminal activity you have engaged in.

Your driving, criminal, employment, financial, and educational records will all be confirmed and the detective will conduct interviews with your personal references and may additionally interview any of your past colleagues, neighbors, classmates, or anyone else who has known you.

Step 4. Polygraph Examination

You will also have a polygraph examination conducted by a state-certified polygraph administrator who will question you about specific previous instances of illegal and immoral activity. When people are rejected due to findings of the polygraph examination it is often because they were found to be giving false or conflicting statements, even though their past transgression may not necessarily have meant an automatic rejection. It is better to be truthful about something that may disqualify you than to be dishonest, which in itself is certain grounds for disqualification.

Step 5. Medical and Psychological Evaluations

The next step in the process of becoming a police officer in Kansas City is to pass a medical and psychological evaluation. These include:


  • Drug test
  • Physical examination
  • Vision test for sight, depth, and color
  • Hearing test


  • Check of mental stability
  • Stress test
  • Personality assessment

Step 6. Departmental Review

Once you have successfully completed all the previous steps in the application process you will sit down with Kansas City PD officials who will review your testing results and evaluations with you. They will ask you some final questions before determining if you are ready to begin the training academy.

Step 7. KCPD Training Academy

The KCPD has its own training division responsible for preparing you for your new police officer career. You will have 960 hours, or 24 weeks, of full-time instruction where the training division will instill in you the core values of:

  • Academic fitness
  • Self-discipline
  • Team pride
  • Military skills
  • Academic excellence

Your training will focus on the areas of:

  • Constitutional law
  • City ordinances
  • Search and seizure laws
  • Patrol procedures
  • Investigation strategies
  • State statutes

Becoming a Police Officer in Olathe, Kansas

Many duties taken on by the first Olathe police officers have remained the same to the present day. In 1870 the primary duties of officers were to prevent and prohibit public drunkenness and stop assault and battery. Other responsibilities have remained the same while the actors have changed; in 1870 police officers would regulate the speed of horse carriages and where one could tie a stallion or jack, which is tantamount to today’s speeding citations and parking tickets.

If you would like to be a part of this historic police department, follow these steps describing how to become a cop in Olathe:

  1. Minimum requirements and application
  2. Written aptitude test
  3. Oral board interview
  4. Polygraph examination
  5. Physical agility course
  6. Background investigation
  7. Interview with the chief
  8. Health examinations
  9. Training

Step 1. Minimum Qualifications and Application

Before doing anything else, check to make sure you satisfy Olathe police officer requirements:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Live within a 45-mile radius of the police department within one year of hire
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have normal hearing and vision
  • Driver’s license
  • Ability to read and speak English fluently
  • Have a mostly clean driving and criminal record

If you meet the minimum requirements you can next submit an online application. Make sure to answer every question and fill out the application completely or it will not be considered.

Step 2. Written Aptitude Test

If you are selected to continue in the hiring process the Olathe PD will send you an email with the date, time, and location of the National Police Officer Selection Test. This will evaluate you in four areas:

  • Mathematics
  • Report writing
  • Reading comprehension
  • Grammar

If you pass the test you will be given a background packet to complete and turn it at your next scheduled event, the oral board interview. The background packet is a questionnaire about specific illegal activity you may have previously engaged in, including drug use, theft, and assault.

Step 3. Oral Board Interview

Your board of interviewers will consider the responses you provide in your background packet and question you to determine if you are the type of candidate they are searching for. Becoming a police officer in Olathe means demonstrating you have exceptional communication skills and can relate well with others.

Step 4. Polygraph Examination

If you have a successful board interview the next thing on your list of things to complete is the polygraph examination. You actually do not have anything to worry about or prepare for this test, simply answer all questions completely and truthfully.

Step 5. Physical Agility Course

You will need to complete a physical agility course meant to put you through what you will most likely encounter as an Olathe police officer. You will need to complete the following in 1 minute and 12 seconds, and you will begin by sitting inside a parked patrol car on the street:

  • Quickly exit the patrol car and run under two five-foot obstacles
  • Run a short distance and make your way over a 4.5-foot fence
  • Go up and down five stairs
  • Drag a 150-pound dummy 15 feet

Step 6. Background Investigation

Once you have passed the physical agility course your next step will be to complete a background investigation. Subjects from your polygraph examination and background packet will be revisited at a meeting with your investigating detective who will also conduct a thorough records check of your criminal, driving, employment, and financial history. Your investigating detective will also interview your personal references and can additionally interview anyone else who has known you in the past, such as previous colleagues, classmates, or neighbors.

Step 7. Interview with the Chief

One of the final steps for becoming a cop in Olathe is the interview with the chief of police. You should not be nervous for this; it is the best if you can be relaxed and yourself. The chief will talk with you about the details of the police department and you can ask any questions you might have.

Step 8. Health Examinations

The final step before you are cleared to begin the training academy is to have your health screenings. First you will be evaluated by a psychologist to determine you are in good mental health and capable of withstanding high levels of stress. Next you will have an appointment with a licensed physician who will perform a thorough medical physical and administer a drug test.

Step 9. Training with the Olathe PD

Your initial training will be conducted in a 14-week program at the Johnson County Regional Police Academy in a course offered three times each year. The training academy is usually Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week, and is not a live-in academy; in other words you will commute to and from the academy each day. Upon graduation you will be a Kansas-certified law enforcement officer ready to begin a 12-week field training program with the Olathe PD. Your training will include:

  • Firearms
  • Criminal justice system
  • Report writing
  • Domestic violence
  • Interrogation techniques
  • Patrol strategies
  • Crime scene investigation

Becoming a Police Officer in Overland Park, Kansas

The Overland Park Police Department has been providing stellar law enforcement for the more than 50 years it has been serving its citizens, and has one of the lowest crime rates in the country for a city its size. The police department describes its officers as having high ethical standards, creativity, and innovation.

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Review the step-by-step application process if you’re interested in learning how to become a police officer in Overland Park:

  1. Minimum requirements
  2. Apply
  3. Law Enforcement Aptitude Battery (LEAB) Test
  4. Board Interview
  5. Background Examination
  6. Health Examinations
  7. Training

Step 1. Meeting Police Officer Requirements in Overland Park

Overland Park police jobs require you to meet a certain set of minimum standards before applying:

  • Must live within a 45-minute driving distance of the city
  • U.S. citizen
  • At least 21 years old
  • High school diploma or GED
  • May not have any members of your family employed full or part time by the city
  • Must not have sold, grown, or manufactured any type of illegal drug
  • No previous felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Have the right to own, use, and carry a firearm
  • No serious traffic violations

Step 2. Apply

Your next step will be to create an account with the city of Overland Park and apply online. Once you have filled out and submitted your application you will receive word about whether or not it has been approved. If it has you will also receive information about the initial testing you will have to complete as your next step in the application process.

Step 3. Law Enforcement Aptitude Battery (LEAB) Test

The LEAB assessment is designed to ascertain your general level of predicted competence as a law enforcement officer. The Overland Park PD offers a study guide for this test, which is divided into three sections that you must complete in a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes:

  • Ability Test: Evaluates your abilities such as:
    • Written comprehension
    • Reasoning
    • Problem solving and sensitivity
  • Work Styles Questionnaire: This portion of the test is designed to evaluate your motivation level and value-based characteristics
  • Life Experience Survey: A relation of your past history and experience and how this may translate into work performance

Step 4. Oral Board Interview

If you have reached a high enough score on your LEAB test then you will be invited to the Overland PD for a board interview. The board will ask you questions about your reasons for wanting to become a police officer in Overland Park and your past employment or education history. Make sure to demonstrate good communication techniques during this interview.

Step 5. Background Examination

After a successful interview you will begin the process of your background examination. An Overland Park PD investigator will check the information you have provided in your initial application including your previous employers, educational institutions, and any criminal records or traffic violations. The investigator will also conduct interviews with anyone who has known or interacted with you over a period of time in the past, including former teachers, neighbors, classmates, and friends. Your answers from the LEAB test will also be cross-referenced with statements from those interviewed and the records check.

You will also need to take and pass a polygraph examination that will delve into areas of your past that have been called into question during the process of your background examination. If you have been successful in demonstrating an honest, reliable, and driven character up to this point and have satisfied the Overland Park PD’s requirements you will be extended a conditional offer of employment.

Step 6. Health Examinations

Now you will be scheduled to have a medical physical with a doctor and a psychological examination with a psychiatrist. These are both conducted to make sure you are in good enough shape to be able to perform the job duties and handle the stresses of being an Overland Park cop.

Step 7. Training

The next step in becoming a fully certified Overland Park police officer is the completion of the Johnson County Regional Police Academy. This is a full-time 15-week training course that will teach you all the basics about law enforcement and beginning a successful career as an Overland Park cop. Upon graduation you will begin your field training and evaluation program to help you transition from your training academy to the real world of law enforcement. Over the course of several months you will be placed with at least three field training officers who will teach you the ins and outs of the job as well as provide you with encouragement and feedback. Your training will include:

  • Firearms safety
  • Arrest procedures
  • Report writing
  • Use of force
  • Law enforcement procedures and legal issues
  • Patrol procedures
  • Courtroom testimony
  • Emergency vehicle operation

Becoming a Police Officer in Topeka, Kansas

The Topeka Police Department has recognized that new and improved technology, if used to its full potential, will be the most effective tool officers will have in the future fulfillment of their oath.

If you are inspired to join this police force and are willing to take advantage of the modern tools of law enforcement, then review this guide that describes how to become a police officer in Topeka, Kansas.

  1. Minimum requirements
  2. Testing
  3. Application
  4. Initial interview
  5. Background investigation
  6. Final interviews
  7. Polygraph examination
  8. Medical exam
  9. Psychological testing and evaluation
  10. Training academy

Step 1. Minimum Requirements

Confirming that you are capable of meeting police officer requirements in Topeka is the first step of the process:

  • No felony convictions
  • No recent drug use
  • Driver’s license
  • U.S. citizen
  • High school diploma or GED
  • No DUI convictions in the past three years
  • Physically healthy and mentally stable
  • At least 21 years old

Step 2. Testing

The next step to becoming a police officer in Topeka will be the completion of two tests. You can register for these online, pick up an interest form from city hall, or request one to be mailed to you. Once the police department’s hiring process starts you will be notified of your appointment to first take a physical abilities test.

Physical Abilities Test

  • 6 laps through a figure-8 course totaling 440 yards. The course involves:
    • 18 obstacle negotiations
    • Going up and down stairs
    • Jumps
  • Push and pull 80 lbs.
  • Squat thrusts
  • 3-foot vault rail climb
  • 50-foot carry of 80 pounds
  • 9 mm hand gun trigger pull: 12 times with each hand in a total of 30 seconds

Written Test

After passing your physical abilities test you will need to take a written test, for which the city provides a study guide upon request. Test subjects include:

  • Grammar
  • Math
  • Reading comprehension
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Writing ability

Step 3. Application

Your next step in the application process for Topeka police jobs will be to complete an application packet that will be given to you when you have passed your tests. This will include a personal history review in which you must provide detailed information about your previous employment, residences, criminal record, and moral history to be used during your background investigation. You must turn in this personal history form along with the application and all other required documents by the due date if you are to continue in the application process.

Step 4. Initial Interview

After passing all tests and have no reasons for disqualification you will be placed on an eligibility list. If you are chosen from this list to continue with the application process you will have an initial interview with a background investigator who will orient you with the Topeka police department and administer a psychological investigative service exam (HBV). This will be used later during your background investigation.

Step 5. Background Investigation

Your background investigation will take several weeks to complete and is extensive. A detective will verify your employment records, financial situation, criminal record, and conduct interviews with anyone who can provide information about you in these related fields.

Step 6. Final Interviews Command Staff Review and Interview

A list of potential candidates will be forwarded to Topeka PD hiring majors who will choose by vote the candidates who will continue in the application process. If you are chosen you will then have an interview with the majors who will evaluate you on:

  • Credibility
  • Communication skills
  • Integrity
  • Demeanor
  • Ability to make good decisions quickly and under pressure

Civil Service Board Interview

Once the command staff has given you their approval, you will also have to go before a mayor-appointed civil service board for an interview. You need to gain certification by this group of citizens who will ask you hypothetical scenario-based questions.

If you make it through both interviews you will be extended a conditional offer of employment.

Step 7. Polygraph Examination

A certified polygraph examiner will administer your polygraph test. Answer each question truthfully and do not lie by omission. You will be disqualified from the application process if the machine detects that you are lying.

Step 8. Medical Exam

Your medical exam will be conducted by a licensed doctor and include a thorough physical and drug test. If you fail the medical exam you will be suspended from the application process and be advised on the next best course of action.

Step 9. Psychological Testing and Evaluation

The final step to complete before you are eligible to begin your training academy, you will begin this phase with three psychological tests followed by a psychological evaluation and discussion about your test results. The tests are:

  • Hilson Life Adjustment Profile (HLAP): To measure your emotional adjustment
  • Hilson Personnel/Success Quotient (HPP/SQ): To identify impulse control and emotion adjustment
  • Inward Personality Inventory: To measure for high-risk occupations

Step 10. Training Academy

After the chief of police has given you final approval you will be ready to begin your training at the Topeka Police Department training academy. You will be trained in all the basic skills you will need for 21 weeks. After you graduate from the training academy you will receive additional on-the-job training with field officers. Subject areas of training include:

  • Interrogation techniques
  • Firearms
  • Driving maneuvers
  • Self-defense
  • Legal procedures
  • Criminal justice system
  • Domestic violence and family issues

Becoming a Police Officer in Wichita, Kansas

As part of the largest municipal police department in the state, you will have no shortage of opportunities to find your niche within the Wichita Police Department. In the department’s investigations division alone there are officers specializing in homicide, robbery, sex crimes, domestic violence, exploited and missing children, larceny, gangs, and organized crime. Besides an investigations division there are also field units and support services units within the Wichita PD.

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In Wichita, police work is an exciting and fulfilling way for you to make a positive impact on the local community. If this sounds like something for you, then take a look through these steps that describe how to become a cop in Wichita, Kansas:

  1. Minimum Requirements
  2. Application
  3. Written Aptitude Exam
  4. First Contact Interview
  5. Physical Agility Test
  6. Oral Board Interview
  7. Background Investigation
  8. Command Staff Interview
  9. Polygraph Examination
  10. Health Examinations
  11. Cooper’s Run
  12. Training Academy

Step 1. Minimum Requirements of the Wichita Police Department

The first step in becoming a police officer in Wichita is to make sure you meet the basic minimum requirements:

  • Live within the city limits or a maximum 30 minutes’ drive thereto shortly after your hire
  • At least 21 years old by the time of hire
  • U.S. citizen
  • Obtain a Kansas driver’s license by the time of hire
  • If a military veteran you must have been honorably discharged
  • Have no felony or domestic violence convictions

When you have confirmed you are capable of meeting police officer requirements in Wichita your next step will be to fill out an application.

Step 2. Application

You can apply online for Wichita police jobs. You will first need to create an online profile with the city of Wichita and you will complete additional paperwork as you progress through the application process. Upon successfully submitting your application you will be given the phone number for the city’s human resources department where you can schedule yourself for testing.

Step 3. Written Aptitude Exam

Your first test will be the written aptitude exam. This is a 100-question examination you must complete in 1 hour and 45 minutes, proctored every Tuesday and Thursday in the city building. The test will cover your basic abilities in writing, reading comprehension, and problem solving.

Step 4. First Contact Interview

Once you have passed your written exam you will meet with a member of the Wichita PD’s pre-employment section who will provide you with a 51-page interview packet to complete. You will need to provide detailed information about your family members, previous employers, previous residences, and history of illegal and morally questionable activity. A member of the pre-employment section will review your packet with you when completed. If you have any private social networking memberships such as facebook or myspace you will be required to list your usernames and passwords, and the packet also asks if you have ever:

  • Employed a prostitute
  • Engaged in sexual contact with an animal
  • Stolen anything from a previous employer
  • Stolen anything from a family member, or in general
  • Been in possession of illegal weapons such as armor-piercing ammunition
  • Shoplifted or changed merchandise price tags
  • Used illegal drugs or abused prescription drugs

Step 5. Physical Agility Test

The Wichita police department conducts the physical agility test each Wednesday. This test is divided into two segments, the first being the suspect chase. This portion simulates what you may encounter when chasing a subject, and involves:

  • Getting over a five foot wall, followed by a three foot obstacle
  • Crawling through a window four feet off the ground
  • Completing these events while running to and fro in 47 seconds or less

In the next portion you will have to drag a 158-pound dummy 30 feet in nine seconds or less.

Step 6. Oral Board Interview

If you have successfully navigated your interview packet and tests then you will proceed to have an oral board interview. This is your opportunity to demonstrate exceptional communication abilities and interpersonal skills. You will be questioned about your motivations for wanting to become a Wichita cop and given scenarios to which you will provide hypothetical responses.

Step 7. Background Investigation

Using the material obtained from your interview packet a detective will be assigned to your application to complete a thorough background investigation. This will include a criminal history check, personal reference interviews, an employment history investigation, examination of your financial history, and a check of your driving record.

Once you have successfully completed the steps up to this point your will be ranked on an eligibility list that will be consulted when there are openings for police jobs in Wichita.

Step 8. Command Staff Interview

When you are selected from the eligibility list you will begin with a command staff interview, to be completed with a captain, lieutenant, deputy chief, and chief of police. These officials will ask you questions about your background investigation and other subjects of interest. Be yourself and answer all questions honestly; these officials want to get a sense of the person they are considering for hire. If all are satisfied then after this step you will receive a conditional offer of employment.

Step 9. Polygraph Examination

After making it through the command staff interview you will take a polygraph examination. This is administered by a Kansas-certified examiner who will confirm and revisit information obtained during your background investigation and interview packet.

Step 10. Health Examinations

The light at the end of your application process tunnel is your health examinations. A doctor will give you a thorough physical examination and a licensed psychologist will conduct a check of your mental health and stress tolerance.

Step 11. Cooper’s Run

Once you receive a clean bill of health you will be ready for the Cooper’s Run. This is a test designed for the military and is simply a measure of how far you can run in 14 minutes. At minimum you must make it 1.5 miles.

Step 12. Wichita-Sedgwick County Training Academy

The chief of police has the final say about appointing you to the Wichita Sedgwick County Law Enforcement Training Center. While in attendance you will complete 23 weeks of basic training followed by 12 weeks of field training at the Wichita police department. Subjects covered include:

  • Legal procedures
  • Criminal justice system
  • Firearms and non-lethal weapons training
  • Domestic violence
  • Interacting with the mentally disabled
  • Traffic stops
  • Crime scene and accident investigation
  • Report writing
  • Interrogation techniques
  • Self-defense

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